My compliments to you for this helpful, excellent site of yours. I'm contacting you in the hope that you could assist me with a question I have about my relatively unusual situation.
My daughter was just proposed to and received an engagement ring from her long-time boyfriend, both of whom are 18 and freshmen in college and expect to earn their bachelor's degrees within four years, after which they have embryonic plans to marry though my daughter will also need to obtain further a master's degree for her chosen profession.
With my obligation then as my daughter's father, do you think it would be too soon at this time for me to place an announcement of their engagement in our local newspaper, especially since their wedding is so distant and the plans nebulous?
I also want to thank you up front specifically for information on your Samples of Engagement Announcements page that will help me with the painful task of crafting an engagement announcement to include mention of my wife and my daughter's mother who passed away earlier this year from brain cancer.
From the Engagement Experts Team
Thank you very much for your kind words.
We're so glad that you've found the information we provide useful. In answer to your question...
There is no right and wrong in your situation. It's really up to the parties involved. A wedding engagement is a time of celebration and most of the traditions were based on relatively short engagements that were common in the last 200 years or so.
Today, situations like yours, and many others, have trumped conventional protocol and many couples and parents are being guided only by what feels right for them.
You are the best person to assess the 'seriousness' of your daughter's relationship (given her age) and the likelihood of them eventually getting married. With that in mind, and with whatever you conclude, you should decide on what to do.... but here are some options and things to consider.
1. You can treat their engagement like any other and completely disregard the time lapse until the wedding. It's a time of celebration and that's all that's important right now.
2. You can make a less formal announcement now in a community or church/synagogue publication, online etc... and/or have a small informal celebratory gathering of only the two families to acknowledge the news and save the more formal newspaper announcement and/or engagement party once they graduate from college as part of that celebration.
3. Wait until they finish their Junior Year at College to make sure everything is still on track and then make a formal announcement.
4. Hold off completely for now and see what comes. In your heart you will know when the timing is right to formally announce the engagement.
Regardless of which path you choose, do keep in mind that close friends and family may want to throw them celebratory parties and give them gifts once an announcement is made which can lead to awkward situations should anything change in the status of their relationship. So you all need to be prepared for the consequences of their intentions and plans falling through even though at this moment they're sure nothing will change.
We apologize for not giving you a more definitive answer but we firmly believe that the best route to take when it comes to engagements and weddings is the one that feels right for the parties involved and not one based on convention or societal expectations.